When I was 21 years old (and not a believer), I became pregnant by my college boyfriend. A bunch of guys and girls were all living at the beach for the summer, and our agenda was to party it up. When my friends and boyfriend found out I was pregnant, they quickly encouraged me to have an abortion. My boyfriend felt a child would mess up our lives and our plans to be wild and carefree that summer before our last year of college. I had so many conflicted feelings, but with little support to keep the baby, I scheduled my abortion at a clinic right near the beach. I was 9 weeks along.
Immediately following the abortion, I felt ashamed and guilty and had major regrets. I felt alone. I jumped right back into partying and trying to be carefree and wild that summer. Over the next 13 years, I struggled with alcohol and drug abuse, depression, and the baggage of many other issues. I came to Christ when I was 34. Through my relationship with the Lord, the mentoring of several people, and counseling, I finally came to see my abortion as paid for at the cross. I understood redemption and no longer lived in the shadow of shame and guilt. It took a long time, and that abortion is still something I wish I could go back and change.
Now, 20 years after my abortion, I have a master’s degree in social work. When an opportunity came up through the Summit to volunteer at a pregnancy center with women facing the choice of life or abortion, I knew I had to learn more. I wanted to make sure I was ready and truly had closure over my own abortion, so I prayed for a few weeks. It became evident the Lord was nudging me to work with these women, whom I could work with one-on-one as a counselor. The Holy Spirit kept prompting me to move forward, so I did.
Over the course of volunteering there for eight months, I had the opportunity to work with many different ladies and hear so many stories. Two women had stories and childhoods similar to my own, and, when I met them, they both already had their appointments scheduled for abortions. I was able to share my testimony with them and about the sanctity of life. I talked through my own shame and guilt of my abortion and how a relationship with Jesus pointed me to God’s Word. I was able to share the gospel with them and, over the next two weeks, pray for them on my own. Both women struggled with their choice, but in the end, they both chose life. One of the girls started to consistently attend church again. The other girl followed up with me and said she felt that sharing my testimony and my relationship with Christ helped solidify her decision to choose life.
Are you ready, like Kristi, to put your “yes” on the table and see how God can use your experiences to show his grace to others? Go to summitchurch.com/missions/local to find out how you can get involved in local missions.
by Kristi Copley